Local

Florida school choice backers raise $850,000

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Federation for Children PAC, which backs school-choice efforts, raised $850,000 from June 1 through July 1 as it replenished funds heading into this year’s elections, a newly filed finance report shows.

The PAC, which had about $865,000 on hand as of July 1, is chaired by Tampa businessman John Kirtley, long a prominent school-choice supporter, according to the state Division of Elections website.

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Kirtley contributed $100,000 to the PAC in June, as did Charter Schools USA Inc.

The biggest chunk of money, $600,000, was contributed by Jim Walton, an Arkansas banker who is an heir to the Walmart fortune.

The other $50,000 came from Conservatives for Principled Leadership, a political committee led by incoming House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, the finance report shows.

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